You have probably gone through a lot of time and effort to install a water softener. Now that you have soft water, it is great for handling chores indoors because it ensures your appliances run efficiently. Furthermore, it can extend the lifespan of your appliances because you don’t have to worry about wearing them out with hard water.
On the other hand, your soft water is a valuable commodity, and you do not want to waste it. For example, you probably don’t need to use soft water outside.
If you are wondering how to bypass a water softener, you can turn on the bypass valve by using a button, level, handle, or knob to change the flow of water, but the exact method will depend on the type of water softener you have.
What are some of the reasons why you might want to bypass a water softener, and how can you do so?
Why Would You Want To Bypass Your Water Softener?
So, before exploring how to bypass your water softener, what are some of the top reasons why you might want to bypass your water softener? You might want to use a bypass valve during the summer.
During the summer, you may need to use some water outside to take care of your lawn. On the other hand, you don’t necessarily need to soften this water. If you do not bypass your water softener, you can waste a significant amount of water softener salt, driving up your overhead expenses.
You do not need to use soft water to do your landscaping work outside, so you can give your water softener system a break while saving money.
The other reason why you might want to bypass your water softener is that you feel like something is wrong with the water softening solution itself. You might be concerned that the system needs a repair, but you still need to use your water supply until water softener repair services arrive.
All you have to do is turn on your bypass valve. That way, you still have access to water without having to run water through a broken water softener. You may want to bypass your water softener if something is wrong with it because you do not want the problem to get worse.
So, if you want to bypass your water softener, what are some of the options available?
Use a Water Softener Bypass Valve
If you need to bypass your water softener, the most popular way to do so is to use a water softener bypass valve. It used to be more common to have a separate bypass built into your plumbing, but usually modern water softeners have the ability to bypass built in.
There are several options available for bypass valves, and you should find the one for your specific type of unit. You need to take a look at the back or top of your water softener unit to find the valve. The valve should be relatively close to where your softener and water pipes come together.
The Top Types of Bypass Valves
In general, the three types of water softener bypass valves include:
- A Turning Handle or Knob: You may see a handle or knob that you have to turn to push your water softener into a bypass mode.
- A Button: Your water softener might also have a button that you can push to switch the unit into bypass.
- A Lever: There might also be a lever that you can move from side to side to put your water softener into bypass mode.
If you still cannot quite figure out how to put your water softener into bypass, you may want to reach out to the company that makes your water softener for more information.
Operating Your Water Softener Bypass Valves
So, what do you need to do if you want to put your water softener into bypass? It depends on the type of valve you have.
The Handle Bypass Valve
If you have a handle that you need to turn, there are a few steps to follow. They include:
- First, identify the handle on your unit. It will probably be on the right or left side of the water softener.
- Turn the handle or knob clockwise. You need to turn it all the way until it stops turning.
- If you are having a difficult time turning the handle or knob, you should try to turn the water on in your tub or shower. Ramp up the pressure to alleviate some of the pressure inside the water softener. It might make the handle easier to turn.
- Once you get the knob or handle turned all the way, you should be using hard water and bypassing your water softener.
- Do not forget to put the handle or knob back in its original position when you are done using hard water.
The Button Bypass Valve
If there is a button on your water softener, there are a few steps to follow. They include:
- Locate the bypass button on your water softener.
- Press the button all the way in.
- If the button is a bit stiff, you may want to try hitting it with a rubber mallet. Or, you may want to try rotating the button once or twice to try to loosen it up.
- Do not hit the button with a regular hammer, as you might break it.
- Once you are done using hard water, you will need to press the button all the way in from the opposite side of the water softener to start using soft water again.
The Lever Bypass Valve
If your water softener has a lever, these are the steps you will need to follow:
- First, you need to locate the lever on your water softener.
- Typically, levers will have “bypass” and “service” written on them.
- If the lever doesn’t have any words on it, you simply need to move the lever to the opposite side of where it is.
- Once you are done using hard water, you need to move the lever back into its original position.
Bypass Your Water Softener Using a 3-Valve Bypass Method
Time needed: 5 minutes
Another way to bypass your water softener is to use the 3-valve bypass method. These steps include:
- Locate the Valves of Your Water Softener
First, you should try to find two hoses running out of your water softener. Usually, they are located on the back of the system. There should be inlet and outlet hoses for the water as it moves through the water softener. If you follow these hoses, you should eventually find the bypass valve.
- Close the Inlet and Outlet Valves
Now that you have found the two hoses connected to the system, you need to close the inlet and outlet valves. These are two small plastic knobs that should be close to where the hose is connected to the rest of the system. You need to turn the wings on the sides until they are perpendicular to the hoses.
- Open the Bypass Valve
Finally, you need to open the bypass valve. You need to turn the wing until the handle is perfectly in line with the pipe. The bypass valve should be located between the inlet and outlet valves, which are located in the main pipe.
Once you have finished these steps, the water softener is now running in the bypass position.
- Reset the Valves
Once you need soft water again, you will need to reset all the valves to the original position by reversing the rotations that you have done with the valves listed above. You need to open the inlet and outlet pipes once again and close the bypass valve.
DROP Specific Water Softener Bypass
DROP Smart Water Softener’s integrated bypass valve allows you to bypass your system should you ever wish to take it out of service. To bypass your system, turn both handles until they are perpendicular to the system inlet / outlet. To place your system back in service, turn both handles until they are parallel with the system inlet / outlet.
Bypass via the App
DROP Smart Water Softener’s can also be put into bypass via the DROP app. To do this, navigate to the App Dashboard and find the on/off toggle button “Treatment Status” and set it to the Off position. This will allow you to put your softener into bypass mode, giving you untreated water instead of softened water. When you are done, just set “Treatment Status” back to the On position.
You also have the ability to setup a scheduled bypass with DROP.
Invest in the Best Water Softeners From DROP
A water softener is a great appliance, but there are situations where you might want to bypass the water softener. One of the methods listed above should work for your water softener.
If you are looking to upgrade your old system, take a look at our smart water softeners and make sure you have access to a reliable source of soft water.